Police in Tianjin have busted two groups that illegally bought social media accounts and mobile phone cards to resell to overseas fraud groups, with the involved money exceeding 10 million yuan ($1.46 million), according to the Ministry of Public Security.
The police first found a man who engaged in the illegal trade via online platforms. Based on the clues provided by the man, the police busted an online platform for trading such illegal accounts.
They also found two groups that engaged in the illegal accounts business, arrested 13 suspects, confiscated more than 120 mobile phones and seized more than 200,000 illegal online accounts and 50,000 illegal mobile phone numbers.
The incidence of cybercrimes such as telecom and online fraud, cross-border online gambling and online ghostwriting, has increased in recent years. It has spawned a network of relevant illegal activities such as buying or renting others’ bank and mobile phone cards for fraud, setting up online platforms to use virtual mobile phone numbers to receive SMS verification codes and other calling services for supporting illegal activities, which seriously harm cyberspace management order and damage the legitimate rights and interest of the public, according to the ministry.
In September, the ministry launched an operation to cut off criminal networks and crack down on activities like the malicious registration of network accounts, selling, renting and lending the accounts of network platforms, illegal manufacturing, selling and providing illegal telecom equipment and related software development and sales personnel.
Police nationwide have investigated about 11,000 cases, closed 130 code-receiving platforms and about 10,000 call-receiving devices, seized 2.4 million illegal telecom phone cards and shut down 42 million illegal internet accounts involved in such crimes.
The public security organs have also strengthened industry regulation, urged internet enterprises to fulfill their responsibilities and take the initiative to identify and dispose of malicious registration, illegal sales and use of online accounts. The police also organized internet enterprises to carry out reverification of suspected online accounts, and investigate enterprises involved in business and management loopholes, according to the ministry.
An official from the ministry said public security organs will maintain a high-handed posture toward online crimes, further intensify the crackdown, focus on key links of such illegal activities and take targeted and effective measures to curb them.
It will also work closely with relevant departments to continuously strengthen industry regulation and control the illegal activities at the source, to create a safe and orderly cyberspace, he said.